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Creating Random Colour Absorption

It has been a long time since my last posting. In spite of the situation in our world right now, I have been busy. I was lucky enough to have my exhibition go ahead with in person viewing just before the second wave meant shutdowns again. With that finished, I have been excited to explore a new idea, which I am calling random colour absorption.

I wanted to explore paint absorption into different textures in a way that was random and did not result in a solid colour, but in variations in the absorption of the paint.

As Lutradur absorbs paint right through it, that seemed like a good base to use. Spraying with water increases the absorption through this web like spunbonded material which helps the paint go through it and I thought would continue to anything dyeable on its surface. It worked on my sample, so I was ready to try a larger piece.

This is my first piece in this series. I’ll go through my steps in creating it.

I started off creating several blanket stitch circles over white cotton yarn and others over white cotton fabric.

This creates a firm, yet pliable circle. I made several in different sizes, using my fingers to wrap the yarn or fabric around several times in order to have a base for the blanket stitches.

After making several in different sizes, I played with a layout and realized that a finer thread (cotton pearl #12) would be the best for stitching them to the Lutradur 100 weight.

Once stitched down, it was time to paint. I used high flow acrylics and water - painting on the back of the piece. I sprayed with water first, and at times as I was painting to ensure that the paint was absorbing through the Lutradur. There were a few spots where it wasn’t absorbing right through, so I touched up those areas from the front, being careful not to paint the circles.

Here’s how it looked when dry. I just love the uneven absorption of the paint. It left several areas of white or light, creating the value differences I hoped for. Interestingly, on some of the fabric circles the thread absorbed the paint totally, but often left the fabric mostly white.

I then stitched the piece to a felt layer with simple hand stitching. I added metallic wax to the ridges, mixing 3 colours to create a highlighted path through the piece. I also added some small markings with a Foil Quill and copper foil.

I knew I wanted an interesting edge before I started, another reason to choose Lutradur and acrylic felt. They will melt together when one uses a soldering iron to cut them together. However, I also wanted a clean back, so I added another layer of polyester on the back and cut all three layers with the soldering iron, fusing them all together.

I added beading in one of the circles to create my focal point.

I am very happy with how it turned out and am working on #2 in this series of explorations of this technique. The photo below is a detail shot.

Here's a photo of the back. I would not have chosen a shiny polyester normally, but I happened to have this fabric and didn't want to wait to fuse and finish the piece!

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